Whether you’re a buyer or a seller of art, you understand the small details make all of the difference. That appreciation also extends to shipping your artwork. Packaging and shipping large pieces of artwork, especially, requires a deft touch and respect for the work. Here are a few tips on how to safely ship large artwork.

Packaging Your Painting or Artwork

Measure the artwork.

The first part of the process is measuring your piece of art. If you’re packing the artwork yourself, measuring the piece will let you know what size of container you’ll need. If you’re using a shipping service, measuring the piece will determine the packing technique and shipping costs. Be sure to measure length, width, height, and weight.

Wrap artwork in stretch film.

Use stretch film, similar to plastic wrap that you use in the kitchen, to tightly wrap your piece of artwork. This provides a first layer of protection against punctures, scratches, or scuffs. If your artwork contains a glass covering, you should also consider specifically taping or wrapping the glass in film. Should the glass accidentally break while being shipped, the tape or film will keep the glass in one piece and avoid damaging the artwork further.

Wrap artwork in a protective layer of cardboard.

Use single- or double-wall sheets of cardboard to wrap your artwork in another protective layer. You can cut the sheets to fit tightly around the artwork, or add a buffer space to more accurately fit your container. This layer also protects corners from damage.

Wrap tightly in bubble wrap.

The last layer of protection before placing your artwork in the container is bubble wrap. Similar to the film and cardboard in previous steps, make sure to firmly wrap the artwork. Bubble wrap minimizes movement in the container and evenly distributes any stress on the container.

Find a suitable box or container.

Depending on the size and shape of the artwork, you’ll need to find a box or crate capable of safely storing the artwork. Large artwork often requires crating. If your box or crate has extra space, fill in the gaps with styrofoam or more bubble wrap. We don’t recommend using styrofoam peanuts as they don’t provide the same level of protection.

Tape with professional touch.

It’s important as a seller to tape the final product with a professional touch. That includes using high quality packaging tape that likely costs more than what you can find at the local grocery store or pharmacy. Tape with care, as it reflects your professionalism while also ensuring that the product arrives safely.

Use a professional packing and shipping company.

Packing large artwork can be a difficult and expensive task. With no room for error, the safest bet is always to use a professional packing and shipping company that has the tools and experience to get the job done efficiently. Not only are they capable of ensuring the safety of the product, but they also have the shipping resources to limit your overall costs.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and want to make sure your large artwork is safely packed and shipped, contact your local Navis Pack & Ship location. With more than 30 years of experience packing and shipping large art pieces from around the world, our services can give you peace of mind.